ESB 6032

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed Senate, February 13, 2020

Title: An act relating to creating a Washington apples special license plate.

Brief Description: Creating a Washington apples special license plate.

Sponsors: Senators Hawkins, Hobbs, King, Takko, Kuderer, Fortunato, Becker, Short, Sheldon, Warnick, Saldaña, Mullet, Zeiger, Wilson, C., Holy, Hunt, Wilson, L., Wellman, Padden, Hasegawa, Brown, Carlyle, Conway, Das, Dhingra, Ericksen, Lovelett, Muzzall, Nguyen, Pedersen, Rivers, Rolfes and Salomon.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Transportation: 1/22/20, 1/27/20 [DP].

Floor Activity:

Passed Senate: 2/13/20, 46-1.

Brief Summary of Engrossed Bill

  • Creates a new Washington apple special license plate.


Majority Report: Do pass.

Signed by Senators Hobbs, Chair; Saldaña, Vice Chair; King, Ranking Member; Sheldon, Assistant Ranking Member; Cleveland, Das, Fortunato, Lovelett, Nguyen, O'Ban, Padden, Randall, Takko, Wilson, C. and Zeiger.

Staff: Bryon Moore (786-7726)

Background: The Department of Licensing (DOL) issues special vehicle license plates that may be used in lieu of standard plates. A governmental or nonprofit sponsoring organization seeking to sponsor a special plate either submits an application to DOL or requests legislation to create the special plate.

Under the DOL application method, the application packet must include the design of the special license plate, proof of 3500 signatures supporting the special license plate, and a start-up fee of $6,300. For special license plates enacted by the Legislature, a sponsoring organization must submit prepayment of all start-up costs to DOL within 30 days of enactment.

The sponsoring organization seeking to sponsor the special plate must reimburse DOL for the costs of establishing the new special plate. If the sponsoring organization is not able to meet the prepayment requirement, revenues generated from the sale of the special license plate are first used to pay off any costs associated with establishing the new plate. The sponsoring organization must provide a proposed license plate design to DOL. The sponsoring organization must submit an annual financial report to DOL detailing actual revenues generated from the sale of the special license plate. The reports are reviewed, approved, and presented to the Joint Transportation Committee.

DOL collects special license plate fees, and for administrative expenses, deducts an amount not to exceed $12 for new plate issuance and $2 for renewal. After these expenses are paid, the state treasurer deposits the proceeds into the motor vehicle account until DOL determines the start-up costs for a special license plate are paid. After that point, all remaining proceeds go to the sponsoring organization.

Summary of Engrossed Bill: A new special license plate is created that displays the Washington apple logo recognizing the state's apple industry, the growers and shippers who produce and pack the world famous apples, and the tree fruit community. The net proceeds are directed towards providing scholarship funding to the tree fruit industry's official charity, the Washington apple education foundation, which provides financial support, professional employment preparedness training, and mentorship to students with ties to the apple industry pursuing a higher education. A $40 fee will be charged for an initial Washington apple special license plate, and $30 for an annual renewal.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect on July 1, 2020.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO:  The apple industry is an important part of our economy and this will help with current issues being experienced by the industry.  The education foundation supports scholarships for farm workers and provides other higher education opportunities in a variety of fields. This new special license plate will recognize the importance of the apples to Washington and at the same time enhance the higher education efforts of the foundation.  Many of the scholarships are directed at first generation college students.  This will create education opportunities to rural Washington state residents.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Brad Hawkins, Prime Sponsor; Thad Duvall, Douglas County Auditor; Todd Fryhover, Washington Apple Commission President; Jennifer Witherbee, Executive Director, Washington Apple Education Foundation; Ruth Ortiz, Alumni, Washington Apple Education Foundation.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.